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Ascension - Series Premiere - Advance Preview

After seeing what Ascension had to offer it is definitely a mini-series you are going to want to watch. The ending alone is absolutely jaw dropping, you will not see it coming, I know I didn't.

Premiering December 15th at 9pm, It is 1963, and the U.S. government has launched a covert space mission sending hundreds of men, women and children on a century-long voyage aboard the starship Ascension to populate a new world. 50 years into the voyage a murder takes place, the first ever to be committed. It is a girl called Lorelei Wright who was the victim. You don't know who did it or more importantly why.

First Officer Oren Gault (Brandon P. Bell) was the first one to suspect it wasn't an accidental death, after finding significant evidence surrounding her body. This then opens a whole new chapter for him, as he hasn't got any experience with detective work so you will see in the first two episodes how he deals with that, and how he works around it. The captain of the starship Captain William Denninger (Brian Van Holt) wants to keep everything quite, as it will only start a panic amongst the people should they find out. Duke (Ryan Robbins) is the head of security, but refuses to help Oren since he is Lorelei's father, and wants to believe it was an accident. I have to admit I was a bit disappointed Ryan Robbins wasn't in it a great deal, since he is one of the few faces I actually know, but what I saw of him I did like. The majority of the first two episodes is spent with Oren trying to figure out what happened the night she was killed, but solving the case isn't a simple as it first appeared.

Aside from the crew mentioned so far, there is a ton of people you will meet. A Young girl called Christa Vallis (Ellie O'brien) who is one of the more interesting characters. She is in her teenage years, and feels she is an outsider which is only worsened by the sense of isolation. During the first episodes you will see that she is very different from the rest of the characters. She believes there are other people on the ship (other than the crew), and at one point even see's something that may or may not be there. It really kept me hooked.
Elsewhere we have Stokes who is very distrustful of the upper deckers, but his character is impulsive and, when pressed, very, very dangerous. Which you will see in the first two episodes. He also knows a lot more about the death of Lorelei than he first lets on. Viondra Denninger (Tricia Helfer) is the biggest game player on the starship, you will see in the first episodes how untrustworthy she is, and how she isn't loyal. She wants control, and will stop at nothing to get it. Lastly we have Dr. Juliet Bryce (Andrea Roth) who is the most dependable, upstanding person of the crew. She cares for everybody, and is always keen to follow the rules which you will see a lot off. She also gets entrusted with a secret.

The cast is huge, and there is way to many to talk about here. Some other highlights from the cast includes Al Sapienza, Gil Bellows and Tiffany Lonsdale who all make very brief appearances during the first two episodes. Gil Bellows's character looks set to play a huge part in the series, which I can't talk about since it will ruin the whole episode more importantly the ending, but he is definitely a character that will interest you.

The first two episodes were really intriguing, and had me hooked. At times it did get a little boring, with its slow pacing, but once it picked up it was magnificent. The show is very cleverly written; in the first two episodes you will see how everything that gets uncovered all fits together and everything that is happening is all connected to Lorelei. Many characters are not trustworthy, and only show this during the first episodes by their erractic behaviour, and nervous nature. The episode wasn't heavily action packed, in fact it was a little slow on action, the first episodes mainly were spent introducing the crew, and the story.
The dialogue was alright between the cast, but it could have been a lot better. The cast seemed likable enough, but I didn't really feel a connection with the characters like with other shows. I am sure though in time the characters will warm on me. The visuals looked good enough for it to look believable that it was a show related to space. If you are hoping this mini-series is anything remotely similar to Battlestar Galactica, then you will be disappointed. As the only similarity they share is that they both take place in space. The episodes also provided us with multiple sex scenes, but I just felt that they were added to spice the show up a bit. There were a few scenes that were very daunting, and didn't at all feel relevant to the story. However most of the scenes though in the show were enjoyable, and were well acted. You will also see a lot of the crew concealing secrets; many surprising twists that occur will have you on the edge of your seat.

As the episode progresses you will see many big reveals, and a list of potential killers, but you will see one person in particular who stands out from the rest. This leads Oren into a compromising situation. The ending of the show is one of the most shocking ones I have seen from any pilot. When I say you won't see it coming, it is an understatement you will be in for a shock by the time the ending comes around, and you are going to want to watch episode 3. It will put the entire first episodes into a new perspective, and only then you will understand what the purpose of the mission is.

It was a good start to the show. The episodes were well acted, and provided us with some decent dialogue. The show did feel though like more of a drama series than a thriller that centres around space. I did expect a little more action. If the show drags out the whole murder story for too long, then it would have been a wasted opportunity for the show. Everything about the show looked believable, and provided a good starting point to the series. It introduced the characters, it introduced the plot and I have to appreciate that it dived straight into the mystery. The music throughout the episodes fitted perfectly into what was happening at the time, especially the song leading us into the first episode "Rocket Man". It was very appropriate. There are a lot of 1960's, and earlier references which really added the extra effect that the show was set in 1963. Overall, It is probably the best series to be set in space that we are going to get for a while. 7.5/10

As always, thank you for reading! Be sure to watch on December 15th!
About the Author - Robert Fruin
Robert is a sixth form student from the United Kingdom, who is currently studying IT, Media and Business Studies. Robert is a huge fan of the ended ABC series LOST, he has seen it many times over and has even visited some of the filming locations for it. Robert mainly watches drama series such as Game Of Thrones and Person of Interest, but has a soft spot for the comedy The Middle. Some other shows he watches are The Walking Dead, Arrow and The 100. Some other interests include cycling, photography and kayaking. Robert will be reviewing Z Nation,The Librarians, Sons Of Anarchy, Intruders, The Fosters and Aquarius. Feel free to connect with him on any of these social media sites.
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